The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Sichovi Visty -- July 13, 1918
    (No headline)

    Ukrainian youth! Undoubtedly the Siege News appears at the proper time. At this opportune time it brings to you a highly ideal slogan: "In the healthy body, a healthy mind."

    It is at the right time that this sacred work is being started; the work which tends to organize our youth into the Siege Organization, with the object of helping a balanced development of the physical and spiritual forces of the commonalty. In other words, to help to unfold the all around proper balanced development of the youth in America. This kind of upbringing is positively necessary. Even although this work is somewhat belated, nevertheless it is better late than never.

    May we say one thing on our behalf, that the founders of the Siege News do not have any intention of satisfying their private ambition. The Siege News is a crystallization of wishes which are founded on idealism and love of the nation, especially the youth. The Siege News 2goes to you, the progeny of our famous forefathers, to help to bring out and show forth the life-giving light, to uplift the average person both physically and spiritually, to lay a foundation on which we can build a plan for a fulfillment of our national duty here.

    When we observe the development of cultured nations, we notice that they, in bringing up the new generation, took into consideration a balanced development both intellectually and physically. The results of this upbringing were such that sickly-looking individuals were almost entirely eliminated; there was no prematurely old youth, no pessimists, no individuals careless toward the affairs of their own nation. The importance of such upbringing was properly understood in the old country during the last years before the World War. Every 3one there looked intelligently upon the development of our Ukrainian "eagle" and "Siege" ranks, for they knew the consequential meaning of it all. The brutal ruinous war did not spare our "eagles" and "Sieges." Yet, one day the war will be over and they will arise again to life.

    In America, for several years there was felt an ardent necessity of the Siege Organization. Here our youth is exposed to a thousand and one dangers. Now, when we look upon the life with our own eyes, the American youth, not only in the educational institutions but also in clubs, cares for a physical development: our own youth, however, is getting dissipated before, our very eyes. Our youth here is on the road to ruin.

    We cannot say that our Ukrainian youth does not like athletic associations. We can gather many facts which prove that many a Ukrainian young man belongs to foreign organizations. This is a great loss to 4our own nation. We must not permit our energetic youth to lose itself in the foreign scattered fields.

    Some years ago many branches of our Siege Organization were opened. This is a comeback to the better. This is a nice beginning. Let us not fold our arms; let us not abandon our well-begun work. "Well begun is half done" only then, when the other half is not slept through.

    On our part we have done, are doing, and will do everything to make the Siege Organization grow for the good and glory of this country and Ukrainia.

    In order to animate thoroughly the Ukrainian Siege movement in America, we undertake to publish The Siege News. Let us not put any political program ahead of another. Our object is: to train the youth of Ukrainian descent of both sexes, and the training of the youth will be of such 5a nature that both physical and intellectual faculties simultaneously will be taken care of by a development of the physical energy through athletics, and the young mind through reading the proper literature, lectures, etc. The character of such training is of a patriotic nature. When our youth is well educated and enlightened, then it will follow such political roads which will add the most for the good of the whole nation.

    "In the sound body, a sound mind!" When our physical strength develops by joint physical drills, then our minds will crave also for work and knowledge. Then we shall help the youth to get rid of thousands imperfections which fall into their eyes. Then we shall guard the youth from thousands of dangers, against languish and demoralization, of which Ukrainia will be proud.

    We send out to you this first issue of the Siege News. Let this our 6periodical be the center of the life of our youth. Let it keep us united in one large family; let is lead us always onward to progress, to everything uplifting and sublime. Let it long live and serve for the glory and good of the whole nation.

    With sending to you this first issue of the Siege News, we appeal to you: Join one and all the Siege Organization! Open up Siege branches everywhere. Unite, work, and educate yourselves! On this depends our future.

    Accept the Siege News with such love as we are sending it out into the world.

    We are aware of having done our part! Now it is up to you, Ukrainian youth, to do yours!

    Ukrainian youth! Undoubtedly the Siege News appears at the proper time. At this opportune time it brings to you a highly ideal slogan: "In the healthy body, a healthy mind." ...

    III B 2, III E, II B 3, II B 2 d 1, I M, III A
  • Sichovi Visty -- January 11, 1920
    Call to Arms by the Siege Organizer, Peter Didyk in Chicago, Nov. 19, 1919

    Sons and Daughters of Ukrainia!

    The times in which our present generation lives are too dreadful for words to describe. Our enemies from time immemorial have resolved to enslave us forever, and therefore have begun to fight against us in a savage way. Both with sword and lies, they are wrecking the very foundation of our independence, the sacred rights of human legacy. The filthy dilapidated shoes of the enemies tread upon the innocent breasts of our mother, Ukrainia!

    Deadly agony befell our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. The Poles demoniacally torture us! Sighs and cries and bitter tears of our countrymen call upon us for liberating help. Their spirit, and the bloodshed 2of our brothers by the raging enemy, call to heaven for vengence. Justice and liberty summon us all to unite into one Ukrainian body! The sun, the moon and the stars themselves, seem to be troubled day and night and as if looking and trying to gather and unite all the Ukrainians under one Siege banner. Even groves and forests, as if pricking their ears, are making an effort to catch the sound of the marching Siege!

    Ukrainian Youth, do you hear the command of the war general! "Attention! March! Fight! Shoot! Regain the glory of our forefathers! Demolish the walls of slavery! Regain freedom for your native land!"

    Where are we all? Are we deaf?

    Away with all partisanship, petty differences and personal disputes! Away with those who do not want unity!

    We all want unity, because we were once children of one motherland. Our 3natives call upon us for help! We all must unite into one fighting body, into one Siege army unit! We all must surrender practically everything that we have for the fate and freedom of Ukrainia; we must sacrifice, not only money, but our very lives, if need be! For, who wants to moan under the Polish-Russian yoke? Who would not fight the worthless enemies? Who would be willing to bow to the universally known liars?

    My brother-knights, the viper is hissing, and we, as thinking people, already intuitively know what he wants!

    My brother-knights, Ukrainian blood is being shed, and is flowing the streets of our villages and cities.

    My Siege colleagues, Cossack children, the mother weeps for the father who was killed by Polish Jesuits!


    In whom does not the heart yearn for sweet revenge?.. . .

    We are ready to sacrifice both our soul and body. To arms! then, for Ukrainia and her people!

    Join at once, and shoulder to shoulder let's fight!

    Join the Siege rank and file! Become disciplined sons of Ukrainia! And while going over to our native land, we shall sing after the poet Shevtchenko:

    The Pollak woman's pocket

    Is filled with ducats and dollars.

    Not after her money, do we cross the ocean,

    But to fight for independence of our brothers!

    Sons and Daughters of Ukrainia! The times in which our present generation lives are too dreadful for words to describe. Our enemies from time immemorial have resolved to enslave us ...

    III B 2, III A
  • Sichovi Visty -- January 11, 1920
    The Educational Work of the Bohdan Chmelnitsky Siege Branch No. 15

    Considering the aim of the Siege Organization, we find that outside the physical drills and spiritual excerises, there is also an educational phase to it whereby one gains knowledge and character. Here in America the Siege ought to place education ahead of other things. A Siege member of either sex, in America above all, ought to get enlightened on his native country, Ukrainia and he ought to know how to distinguish between things that are native and foreign to him. In the Siege, every member should gain knowledge, not only for himself, but to share it with others who did not have a chance to get it.

    For this reason, the Chicago Siege Branch undertook an educational work in order to get on the true path of its final goal. It established 2a school for the illiterate, so that they may profit by the long winter evenings, and thus entirely eliminate illiteracy from our branch. All those who do not know how to read and write decided to begin to study with great earnestness, so as to learn at least the most elementary things by the next Spring. Harry Kryvovyaz, standard bearer, voluntarily applied for a position as teacher without any remuneration, eager to help the illiterate fellows join the ranks of those who know at least how to read and write in the vernacular language. Thanks to him for this, from every member of all the Siege branches!

    Morever, here they established a class of rhetoric and elocution, whose teacher is the chief Siege organizer, D. Didyk. He was the first one to give the initiative to a class of this kind, which is one of the most necessary ones in the Siege organization in America. In such a 3school a Siege member can profit in two ways: (1) By acquiring knowledge and fearlessness, and thus being able, if need be to get up with a speech at a meeting or convention, and (2) Should any Siege member go back to his native land, he would be able to become a leader in a Ukrainian community, either in his native village or in another town.

    M. Moranetz voluntarily applied to give lectures on the history of the Cossacks, as well as on history in general.

    Then, it was decided that every member should learn and master some kind of trade for his own benefit, whether he stays here or goes back to his native country, where great scarcity of tradesmen is being felt. Should a number of Siege members return to the native land from America, they, as enlightened speakers and organizers and rounded out individuals will be able to help the Ukrainian cause.


    Therefore, the work initiated in our branch is quite a desirable one at the present time. Let us, therefore, all get to work and, without any exception, let us become enlightened sons and daughters of our Mother Ukrainia, and some day the time will come when some of us shall be able to go back to our native country, where we would become desired adjuncts to work for the national cause and help liberate our loving Ukrainia!

    Stephen Musiychuk

    Considering the aim of the Siege Organization, we find that outside the physical drills and spiritual excerises, there is also an educational phase to it whereby one gains knowledge and ...

    III B 2, II B 2 f, II B 2 g, III A
  • Sitch -- April 15, 1925
    American Libraries

    No country in Europe cares for its libraries as is done here in the United States. Besides, many individuals endow these libraries with large sums of money. The system in these libraries is the same in all and is taught to the librarian in special schools.

    Libraries here usually have three departments: the Reference Department, from which one cannot take out the books; the Circulation Department, and the Children's Department. The last named employs people who are specially prepared to work among children. In addition, the larger libraries have a fourth department--for newspapers and periodicals. The newspapers cannot be taken out, but the periodicals can. In the Reference Department there are special sections for law, medicine, etc.

    Almost every large library has separate collections of foreign books. The public libraries here have books in the Ukrainian language, but only the 2large ones where Ukrainians saw to it that the library purchased them. Usually books in the foreign languages are there uselessly, because it is very seldom that anyone asks for them. The reason for this is that our people do not know that public libraries have Ukrainian literature and that if they demanded it, more would be purchased. The directors of these libraries say that they would employ workers who know foreign languages if the public wished to profit from these collections. Very seldom does anyone ask for these books because, for the past ten years, the few organs of our press occupied their time and space with bickerings and slander which turned the people to disputation instead of education.

    These libraries also have directories of all the important cities of the United States, not only the latest but the older ones as well. From these directories one can find all the addresses of friends and relatives of whom sight has been lost; addresses of night schools where many practical trades are taught free of charge; addresses and information pertaining to various factories and businesses where one might be able to secure a job or to study 3a special trade.

    The libraries also have newspapers, both old and new, of other cities, filed in yearly volumes. Whenever a workingman wishes to move to another city where he does not have any friends, he can use these newspapers, and, by looking through the "Help Wanted" column, secure all the information he desires, which often a friend residing in that city could not supply. It frequently occurs that the workingman has forgotten the name of the ship on which he arrived, and the exact date of its arrival. This information is needed when applying for citizenship papers. In the main libraries one can find many volumes of old daily newspapers that publish the movements of all the ships at the time in question. One should not hesitate because he does not know how to look up what he wants in the library. That is why they have librarians there: to direct him and to show him where to find it and how to find it.

    Whoever might care to, may quickly be convinced that libraries here are 4not only places where one can read comfortably and quietly, but are also places where one can obtain practical information which is very important to life and the future on this earth of the workingman and his children.

    That is why we say to our workingmen, "Utilize the long evenings of your young lives in a useful way! Go to the libraries, seek there and read Ukrainian books! Take your children to the public libraries so that they may become accustomed to the use of the sources of knowledge, which will be to their advantage.

    "Do not lose valuable time by listening to bolshevik agitators or to other critics, for they will not teach you anything. They often do not know anything in any sphere of knowledge. Loud speaking and chiding others do not produce knowledge."

    No country in Europe cares for its libraries as is done here in the United States. Besides, many individuals endow these libraries with large sums of money. The system in ...

    I A 3, II B 2 d 3, III A, I C, I E
  • Ukraina -- June 13, 1930
    What News Reports the Ukrainian Conscription in America

    The League of the Liberation of Ukraine, organized in Chicago, resolved to make the Ukrainian conscription here in Chicago. It was resolved and done. It must be said in advance that the planned conscription of all the Ukrainians living in Chicago was not completely successful, as the League wished. First of all, the lack of skilled men for such a special work; second, the lack of the necessary apparatus to carry on such a planned conscription. The conscription is still now not complete and not finished.

    It will be an advantage when we make up just now the investigation and an estimate of the conscription in a general way. From the collected lists of the Ukrainian conscription properly filled out, I have selected one hundred lists as they came to my hands and after thoughtful investigations I relate as follow:

    (1) The question about changed names: 98 persons answering that question 2said they did not change their names. The full name is usually adapted to the English pronunciation sometimes not very properly, for example: the proper name, Ivan, changed to John; Mikhaylo, to Mike; Hnat, to Jim, and so on. Only three businessmen of this number (98 persons) changed their names to English names, apparently from business reasons.

    The question whether the children who attend school have changed their names received no attention. This question is very important because the children use all their lives the names which were given to them by their teachers. By the names it is very easy to recognize how many Ukrainian students are attending high schools, colleges and universities. It is therefore very much desired that this question be filled out in the future.

    (2) The second question: Married or single: 82 persons answered "yes," meaning they live in the married state, only 18 persons declared that they lead an unmarried life, out of that number three women, because they have no occasion to get married.


    (3) The citizenship papers: On one hundred questionaires there are 67 men who took out the second citizenship papers, 18 men took out the first citizenship papers and 15 men have no citizenship papers at all, besides the fact that many of these men have been here in America over twenty years. In reference to the women as the members of families, the matter is worse. Out of one hundred questionaires only 75 women have filled out the petitions for citizenship papers. It is evident that 23 women have already become citizens of the United States of America through being married to citizens.

    The League of the Liberation of Ukraine, organized in Chicago, resolved to make the Ukrainian conscription here in Chicago. It was resolved and done. It must be said in advance ...

    III A
  • Ukraina -- July 25, 1930
    To the Ukrainian Legionaipes in Chicago and the Suburbs

    We, the undersigned, hereby call all the Ukrainians that served in the American army, whether or not they are connected with any legion in Chicago and vicinity.

    The purpose is to think over how to organize one powerful Ukrainian organization of military people.

    Today we live through such times in our national Ukrainian affairs that all the thinking Ukrainians should be duly organized, and especially those that are devoted to the service of the people.

    Scattered in all parts of Chicago, residing far from each other, the military Ukrainians, such as the legionaires and the civilians as well, should be all duly organized.

    No one knows how soon the bell may sound that Ukraine is liberated and made a free state.


    All understanding the value of this call are requested to write in care of the Ukrainia by addressing the envelope to the "Legionaire."

    Very truly yours,

    John Vorobetz

    John Sinuk

    Theodore Dutkanich

    John Dutkanich

    Leo Tiahnibyk

    Stephen Protziuk

    We, the undersigned, hereby call all the Ukrainians that served in the American army, whether or not they are connected with any legion in Chicago and vicinity. The purpose is ...

  • Sitch -- August 12, 1933
    Ukrainian Catholic Youth Convention

    A throng, aged and weary, passes along a descending road. Day after day a few from this throng enter the yawning jaws of the world beyond, their tasks completed, while the duties of the others gradually come to their conclusion.

    Along another highway a new multitude moves uphill to a successfully-reached goal. This group is confident, cheerful, energetic, and capable in all the tasks it undertakes. These are the youths who walk with heads held high, with buoyant swinging steps, and with shining eyes gazing far into a bright future. Yet, a fear and sorrow grips us, for we see that this young group is not in one great body or unit but instead is steadily being separated as it marches along--a few constantly straying into bypaths from which they never return.

    This is what is happening to the young folk of Ukrainian blood, but we must not allow it, for their powers are too precious and valuable to be wasted upon 2countries and people who do not require their aid. It is our Ukraine which needs these youths, because of the fact that the older generation is steadily passing away.

    Therefore, it is necessary to centralize this young life lest it be forgotten that we are Ukrainians, and that a Ukrainian spirit must prevail among all. For this worthy cause a convention of Ukrainian-American and Ukrainian-Canadian Catholic youths has been called for August 19 of this year in Chicago. All organizations and clubs are requested to co-operate by sending delegates to represent their particular group. It is desired that all local groups organize into one great body and work together both now and in the future.

    In localities which have no youth organization, the committee of the convention asks that delegates be sent to represent the youth of each locality. The program of the convention has been printed in preceding publications, but if anyone seeks information concerning the convention or desires to volunteer his services, whether by lecturing, participating in the oratorical contest, or 3offering suggestions, it is suggested that he write to the committee of the convention, U.-A. & U.-C. C. Y. C. [Ukrainian-American and Ukrainian-Canadian Catholic Youth Convention], 2238 West Rice Street, Chicago, Illinois.

    A throng, aged and weary, passes along a descending road. Day after day a few from this throng enter the yawning jaws of the world beyond, their tasks completed, while ...

  • Ukrainian Youth -- July 29, 1934
    Ukrainian Professional and Businessmen's Association Gives Picnic

    The Ukrainian Professional and Businessmen's Association is holding its first annual picnic today at the St. Nicholas Picnic Grove on Higgins Road. An interesting program is scheduled for the day.

    There will be competitive games for boys and girls, men and women, with prizes for the winners. There will also be a large number of prizes raffled off to the holder of the lucky number, therefore, retain the stub of your ticket, and if your number should be called, present it, and receive your prize.....

    The price of admission, as you probably know, is free, that is, if you have 2one of the tickets which the professional and the businessmen have been giving away to their customers. If you do not have a ticket, the cost of admission at the gate will be thirty-five cents. But those who support the members of the Ukrainian Professional and Businessmen's Association received their tickets free.

    The Association's aim is to urge Ukrainians to support the Ukrainian businessmen, instead of all others as they usually do. After all, everybody buys food, clothes, shoes, furniture, coal, beer, etc; but how many of you buy it from a Ukrainian businessman? I am sure they all have what you want, and as reasonably priced as the other fellow. Therefore, in the future when you are about to buy something, remember always to go to a member of the Ukrainian Professional and Businessmen's Association. Give them a chance, and I am sure they will satisfy you.


    Remember to come on out today and enjoy yourself. Dance to a six piece orchestra, drink, eat, and make merry, and from now on firmly resolve always to patronize the members of the Ukrainian Professional and Businessmen's Association.

    The Ukrainian Professional and Businessmen's Association is holding its first annual picnic today at the St. Nicholas Picnic Grove on Higgins Road. An interesting program is scheduled for the day. ...

    III A, III B 2, III B 1
  • Ukrainian Professionalists of America and Canada -- [Unknown date]
    (No headline)

    (Ukrainsky Profesionalisty v Ameritzi e v Kanadyi), (Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada), PP. 49-52. By Stephen Sumeyko. (Address delivered at the First Congress of the Ukrainian Professionists--held in Chicago, August, 1933.


    Some day when a historian writes a history of American-Ukrainian life, he will undoubtedly designate the contemporary period as a period of transition. Today we are witnessing the gradual retirement and decline of the older generation of American--Ukrainians and the continually increasing influx in its stead of a new and fresh element--American--Ukrainian youth. Yet this displacement of one generation by another is not the most important manifestation of this transitory period. What is important is the beginning of a readjustment in the class status and class consciousness of the Ukrainians in America. From being a practically pure laboring class, the Ukrainian immigration in America, under the influence of favorable local conditions, is beginning to readjust itself to a more natural and balanced social order, based upon the proportionate presence of all classes which go into the make-up of a well balanced ethnic group: The laboring, the artisan, the business and, lastly, the cultural and professional classes.


    We have witnessed the coming of the Ukrainian artisan, the Ukrainian business man, and now we are witnessing the arrival of the Ukrainian professional man and woman. Every year brings and ever-increasing arrivals to this class. Every year we see more lawyers, doctors, engineers, dentists, teachers, accountants, musicians, and even a literary light or two appearing in our midst. Slowly but steadily we are assuming those positions which befit an inherently cultured and talented people such as ours.

    It is this gradually increasing entrance of our young men and women into the various professions that has led me to notice that there is one very important field which offers fine opportunities for our youth, and yet which for some reason or other seems to have been overlooked by them. The field or profession to which I refer is--journalism.

    What do I mean by journalism?

    Omitting a highly technical and exact definition, journalism is generally regarded as the profession or occupation of publishing, writing, or conducting a journal. "Whether journalism is a profession, or an art, a science, a trade, a craft, or even a game depends," to quote one authority, upon the equipment, the 3point of view, the outlook and the motive of the individual engaged in it. To an editor or writer it is usually a profession, to a man in the advertising department it is a business, to a printer it is a trade. "What I have in mind is that which begins with reporting and end with editing, and which, in view of present-day stringent requirements of preparation and training, may be properly called a profession.

    Although this profession offers fire opportunities for the individual engaged in it, as well as to the cause to which that individual may subscribe, yet as a life calling it does not seem to attract our young people, even though some of them have considerable talent for it.

    Here in America, journalism has reached its highest peak of development. The printed word is now more powerful than ever before. The American newspaper besides being a mirror of world-wide life is also a powerful instrument in the shaping of public opinion. It offers to the young man who seriously enters it an education in many respects greater than any college can afford; it puts him in close contact with life; it makes him broadminded and arouses a high degree of intellectual activity.

    Aside from these general advantages, however, there are additional benefits which 4will insure to those young American-Ukrainians who take up this profession as their life calling.

    Even the more pessimistic observers among us are beginning to see that the Ukrainian cause is assuming greater importance than ever before, despite all efforts of its enemies to the contrary. This growing importance of the Ukrainian cause has its repercussions here in America too, in the form of growing stability of American-Ukrainian life. Contributing to this stability is the realization by our people that their future welfare depends mostly upon these uniting their strength. Everywhere, therefore, efforts are being made to attain this unity. And with the elimination of certain evils from our life, these is very strong likelihood that Americans of Ukrainian descent will play a definite and important role in American life and at the same time be of considerable aid to their kinsmen in their native land Ukraine.

    Yet the entire matter depends upon the younger generation of American-Ukrainians. The older generation has built a foundation, and it is up to the younger generation to erect the rest of the structure. That is why the really decisively critical period in American-Ukrainian life, one that will determine its future existence, is yet to arrive during the span of American-Ukrainian Youth's existence.


    Happily for all of us, as well as for the Ukrainian cause, the American-Ukrainian youth is showing greater interest in the Ukrainian cause as well as in its own common fate than was even expected. Being gradually welded together by common descent and interests, it is beginning to show signs of living up to the hopes of the older generation and performing greater deeds than the older generation in the field of good American citizenship and in the sphere of Ukrainian National aspirations.

    Yet in order that these hopes be realized here in America as well as in the old country, in order that the youth may play its part in the building of American-Ukrainian life, it is absolutely necessary that the growing interest of our youth in Ukrainian affairs be never permitted to die out. It must be fanned to white heat and everlastingly kept there.

    And what medium other than the press, in all its manifold forms, will best succeed in keeping this interest burning brightly, in keeping alive in the future generations of American-Ukrainians the realization that they are descendents of a great race, that it is their duty besides being good American citizens to strive for the complete independence of Ukraine, and that also it is their solemn obligation to continue the works, and tasks of their parents and build them to even greater heights. There is hardly a doubt, I am sure, that in a 6country as large as America, where our people are scattered far and wide, the press is the best fitted to cope with such a tremendous task.

    It is my conviction that the Ukrainian newspaper in America has a fine future. The American-Ukrainian youth is far more accustomed to newspapers and more greatly dependent upon them than were our parents. In time, when this youth comes into its own, it will demand a press of its own, one that will reflect its life and help chart its course. Whether these newspapers will appear in the Ukrainian and English language is another matter and besides the point, for the same ideals can be expressed and disseminated in either language. It's the spirit that counts! The question arises, though, will there be sufficiently talented and trained American-Ukrainian journalists to rise to this demand, young men and women who have been born and raised here in America and yet who through diligent study are well acquainted with their Ukrainian background, with Ukrainian life, history, and culture?

    The answer to this most vital question can be determined now. Now is the time and opportunity for a number of talented young American-Ukrainians to prepare themselves for this calling--journalism in the field of American--Ukrainian life. Start now!

    (Ukrainsky Profesionalisty v Ameritzi e v Kanadyi), (Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada), PP. 49-52. By Stephen Sumeyko. (Address delivered at the First Congress of the Ukrainian Professionists--held in Chicago, August, 1933. JOURNALISM ...

    III E, II A 1, I C, I A 1 a, III A, II B 2 d 1
  • Waldimir Semenyna, (Hawthorne, N.J.) -- [Unknown date]
    The Ukrainian Youth and the Ukrainian Cause

    The theme assigned to me is a problem to which there is no mathematical approach, and therefore no exact deduction as to its solution is possible. On the other hand, if Newton had been lying on the other side of the tree he might not have become the Newton that he did.

    To study the possible approaches to this problem of the Ukrainian Youth we ought to have a fair picture of the Ukrainian immigration.

    First of all, we generally like to compare our immigration with that of other nationalities and criticize accordingly. This is especially true with the American-born generation. The comparison is erroneous in that we are not comparing similarities. The fact that our immigration is practically the youngest that came to this continent does not allow comparison with such immigrations as the Irish and German which occured much earlier. Whereas the others through various generations have been ingraining themselves in this country, the Ukrainians have come to see the 2first American-born generation entering the threshold of maturity. Whereas the others came at a time when the country was undeveloped, the Ukrainians came at the time when industry was reaching its peak of production; and that itself was to some extent a calamity.

    Kid ourselves as much as we will about equal opportunities, we cannot help but realize that the "first come, first served" rule applies to life as well as it does to movie seats. The older the immigration the larger percentage of those immigrants that create is a well-to-do class with its appendages of social, economic and political influences. The fact that the older immigrations came at a time when this nation welcomed them only improved, or rather had real opportunities thrust upon them, whereas the arrival of the Ukrainians at the time of industrial broadest development enticed them into the factory and its affiliates and thus stunned their natural development which would have come had they settled on the soil. This is the fundamental difference between the Ukrainian settlers of Canada and the Ukrainian industrial workers of the U.S.A.; the Canadian was transferred from soil to soil which he knew and loved and the American was transferred from the soil to the factory and mine which were strange to him and where he got lost. The new surroundings and conditions owed him and in the hum of industrial life and activity the immigrant 3was charmed and set to wondering. He began to question himself about how soon he'll be able to save $500, $1000, $5,000, etc., and go back to the old country, buy lots of land, and be a first-class "hospodar" . As the years rolled by he kept on wondering, and the children kept on wondering.

    Now that children are wondering away the fathers are beginning to take notice of their children's presence, and their interest is aroused. What is the trouble? It is not that the fathers were not patriotic, in their sense. They always seemed to respond to different appeals to support the Ukrainian cause. The simple trouble is that the appeals were always one sided. The constant calls were for material help to the other side. One thing was forgotten and that was the true aim of the Ukrainian cause: Perpetuation. Even the free Ukraine would not be of any great mutual benefit if that freedom was to be short-lived. We have had a taste of that. We are striving for a lasting freedom of a nation and consequently should prepare a lasting army of its supporters who may have to wage a lasting battle to the finish. We need perpetuating generations of nationally conscious Ukrainians. Unfortunately all that was take for granted as far as the immigration went.


    True enough, the older generation has built some fine institutions; but now that the time is approaching when the fathers will pass away, the problem of these institutions looms up to the front--are the young folks ready for it? To say the least, the problem that the fathers are facing is not a simple one.

    In dealing with the children we must first consider the parents who have their greatest influence over them. These folks may be divided into two types. There is the indifferent parent and we may be certain that the children of such are practically bound to be the same. Then we have the second type and that is the serious or trying type that deserves all the consideration. According to the old country tradition, the father's word should be "law" whether it is logical or not. Not knowing much about American life, the parents expect the child to obey. The child on the other hand, confronted with a strange request made without an explanation, rebels and refuses to obey. Whatever may follow one may be sure that the child will be constantly on guard and suspecting that all "old country" notions must be just as ridiculous. Very often this first encounter is the cause of a lasting and an irreparable breach. The above cites the stern father.


    Now we have another type of a parent whose inferiority complex results in a similar breach between parent and child and that is the "dividing parent." How often have we heard, "It must be so because Johnny said so." Whether Johnny knows that he is alive or not is another question but because he finished elementary school and possibly is floating through high school, the mother sees in him the incarnation of all wisdom, even though her plain common sense must have told her more than once that his requests were unreasonable. But then this is America; everything is different. Results: parents always wrong, parents looked down upon as ignorant, all the Ukrainians judged in the same light, and the Ukrainian cause is given the same consideration.

    Coming to the topic of the young folks themselves, we must divide them into two groups, also. (Please bear in mind that throughout I'm speaking in generalities; there are exceptions to all rules). In the first group belong the grown ups. If these are not nationally conscious they are lost." You can't teach an old dog new tricks." In exceptional cases you might arouse interest but hardly a fever or devotion to a cause--not even money can do that. That takes up to the second group which consists of youth's growing up. Their life is a detached life; detached because the elders have been constantly detaching them from their own 6circle. This alienation process has been worked in different ways. I have mentioned the stern father and the divining mother. I must mention the foolish laughter of the elders at the children who in all earnest endeavor to learn, mispronounce Ukrainian words. Then we have the unnecessary long church hours which turns away so many boys and girls, and that is quite an important factor because our churches are our oldest institutions here, they are our oldest gathering places, social centers. While the fathers live they may be able to force the children to attend church, but what is going to happen to the churches later? The other alienating influence are our plays, entertainments and lack of inducements.

    Naturally the question of "what is there to be done" comes in its logical sequence. The answer, is short, is: teach the elders and induce the young. About the first part of the advice a lot has been written by various contributors to our Ukrainian papers but like all enterprising novelties, it must be sold--sold by constant advertising. The elders must be taught how to respect their own nationality,--their own customs and their own institutions,--but respect intelligently. Just as an example let's take the Christmas holiday, observed by us by the Julian calendar. It is a usual question which the children ask:


    "Why must our Christmas be so late?" I know that a lot of our people are abolishing our Christmas time on their own initiative or on their children's advice, and the natural result, as far as the children are concerned, is another defeat for the parents and their "old country notions." Now a logical answer would: "Our Christmas time has been kept since Christ was born, and the other was introduced only a few hundred years ago; so which deserves more consideration?" (After all as far as calendars go, if we were to use the right date, neither of the established dates would be right).

    Intelligent respect for our own is of great importance in the upbringing of our children. Intelligent respect to our own tongue will eliminate a lot of that alienating effect. Just emagine: a young girl or boy is trying her or his best to get the tongue around a certain syllable but fails--the parents, and perhaps some present friends, burst out with a roar of laughter. A big joke (considering that the elders who have lived here ten, fifteen, and twenty years have not even tried to learn the pronounciation of their adopted language, yet expect the youngster to learn their strange tongue in a fraction of that time without any guidance--while other people have to pay hundreds of dollars to learn the same.


    It is not that those elders mean any harm,--for from it. They certainly did not know any better and through their ignorance build, up the very wall which they want to eradicate.

    Help the youngsters. True enough, the mispronouncement is funny at times but then erase the effect of the laughter by an explanation of why it is funny and correct and accent or what not, and both the child and advisor will benefit by it. The youngster will remember the mistake because of the mirth it produced and the elder will gain the respect of the child because of the source of knowledge that the elder will appear to represent. On the other hand, if there is no reason to laugh, then for goodness sake, don't. The greatest satisfaction that I have had was to hear on similar occasions some bright youngster pop up the question, "Why do you laugh? What's so funny about it?" In some cases the question had a sobering effect.

    We must induce young folks to respect and cherish our ideals. The form of inducement may be classed as local and national.

    If we consider the smaller town as a locality we are faced with a small Ukrainian colony and unless it is a farming section, it is a compact colony where the members 9are in close touch with each other. Having one meeting place it becomes their social center, where all entertainments are held and where the children get their only information about their father's homeland. Unfortunately, the information gained by the youngsters is not of the homeland out of the environments in which they live, of the conditions which influence the elders the most. The children are allowed to watch the card playing and drinking and drinkfilled stage performances which stagnate even to this day. Result: the children form an opinion in their plastic age and the opinion is: the old country is the same so why bother about it. Keep the children away from the private bar and its profits. Choose your plays as carefully as you would choose a guardian over your children, and having chosen them try in a cooperative manner to persuade the young folks to participate in those clean plays. A few monetary prizes for the young participants of the understanding performances will serve a special inducements. Forget the profit; think of the mutual gain.

    In larger cities the conditions have improved to some extent. There is some concentration of intellectual forces which naturally take a lead. But on the other hand, the diverging forces in the large city colonies are much greater. Therefore it is necessary to center on the national form of inducement which has more influence in the large cities and which through that influence involves the smaller colonies as well.


    The Ukrainians must have, by all means, their own native schools of quality. So far, with the exception of some Canadian institutions, I have not heard of permanently established quality schools. It is that lasting curse among us which must be fought at all costs. Profit! Something for nothing! False profit!. And soon we will be reaping the lost gain. There should be no one in a colony as important as the teacher in our native schools--I mean qualified teachers who may be entrusted with the molding of young characters. Let us forget about the one-in-all combination: teacher--deacon, janitor and general abuse mongrel. Stop wasting your pennies. One good man could cover three to five colonies with the minimum cost to the individual group and with the maximum benefit to all concerned. A central guiding institution is needed to coordinate this work and I hope that the recent movement in that direction will materialize.

    We must awaken the pride of the young folks in our own institutions. In this respect, forgetting some of the faults in his endeavors, there can be no doubt that V. Avramenko's dancing organizations have blazed a trail of great significance. The organizing ability of the man should be capitalized to every extent in this new school movement.


    Considering all the phases of our life in this country, we find one thing lacking, and lacking sorely. No matter how, the most important thing, in order to get the young person's attention, is to appeal to his or her feeling. We can do so by mouth or written word. The first means is out of question physically. That leaves us the possibilities of the written word, further, to appeal through writing, the person must be well acquainted with the medium of expression, and naturally to an American born Ukrainian the English word is the most effective medium of expression or transmission of thought.

    Herein we are sorely in need of Ukrainian literature in the English language. We need to encourage young people to specialize in literature, and through substantial renumerations we must induce them to write. The large central institutions are in the best position to undertake this move. It must be a continuous annual subsidy or fund; otherwise the power of inducement would be nullified. What rich sources of Ukrainian historic material and what possibilities of parallelization with the history of this continent!

    We are living through a period of Ukraine's greatest upheaval. Ukraine is 12transformed into land of martyrs. This fact should be utilized by the Ukrainian papers. Where life is at stake, no means should be spared to impress the young of the bestiality of the killer. The impression is lasting and is taken to heart. If we are to develop fighting supporters of a mutual cause, we must present in a true light the reason for our battle. To this end, more material should be printed in English, for the general dissemination of the news.

    In conclusion I must say that a lot of the suggestions cannot be followed out as long as we have party frictions and go to the extent of letting party prejudice come before a mutual aim. We must admit that the older generation will finish its existence in the same attitude, but the coming generation has none of these obstacles to handicap its progress.

    There must be a full recognition of this fact and all nationalistic groups must meet and formulate a common line of endeavor in tackling this "wondering" problem which might be neglected too long. Regardless of the party, we have one aim and must train our children to see it in the same light and work hand in hand for the same cause. If we don't there will be no one else to do it; so, since it must be done sooner or later, why not try to do it now? And it is up 13to the Ukrainian professional men, especially those in the ranks of the younger generation, to lend their shoulders to this problem in which they are bound to play the main guiding part.

    (Editor Note:) (This note applies to Chicago, as well as other communities.)

    The theme assigned to me is a problem to which there is no mathematical approach, and therefore no exact deduction as to its solution is possible. On the other hand, ...

    III E, III G, III H, I B 3 b, III A, III C, III B 3 b, I A 1 a